The Walther CCP hit the market hard and with much anticipation from the shooting community. The marketing on the CCP was fantastic, and it drew interest from all over, even from people who were previously uninterested in Walther pistols. The CCP drew eyes with its “Softcoil” system, which is basically their own gas-delayed blowback design. The design is quite different from the usual browning style lockup design, and it drew a lot of attention and criticism. We will cover the design in more detail later. In order to get a full idea of how the CCP came to be, we need to take a quick look at the history of Walther in general and some of the interesting designs that kept them on the map, even to this day.
As one of the most popular German gun manufacturers in Europe, Walther is known for making some of the most iconic firearms in the world. Most of their designs are very different from the popular and established designs of the time. The PP/PPK is a legend in the Walther lineup. It still receives recognition from its infamous usage in the James Bond films. The P99 has earned quite a reputation for reliability and has continued to serve the German Police with distinction. The famous Turkey-made copy of this pistol, the TP9 series, has been popular with many shooters who don’t realize that it copies the Walther design under license. The P38, used by the Germans in WW2, was the first to use the falling block design, which has proven to be a very durable design. Beretta has incorporated this design in the M9/92FS series of pistols. In fact, if you were to look at the two pistols side by side with their stats, it would appear that the M9 is merely an upgraded P38. Fast forward to today and the last few years when the PPQ (P99Q in Europe) came on the American market. Most people have at least heard of the PPQs incredibly nice trigger and grip. The PPQ in a way has set a standard for future developments of Walther pistols.
When feeling both the PPQ and CCP grip, I feel like the CCP takes advantage of the grip texture and design much better than the thicker PPQ grip. In a nutshell, no one can deny the fact that holding this pistol feels very natural and comfortable for shooters of all hand sizes. This is a big deciding point for a lot of people. Now as for the size, I find the 5.12” height works very well for IWB carry under a t-shirt. I find the width and the inconsistent shape of the pistol to also add in the concealability of the pistol for carrying on the hip. Its shape helps prevent a consistent and blocky pattern, which is the biggest culprit in printing.
The pistol comes with two 8 round mags that have a slight extension on the front part of the magazine to give you just enough room for a full grip on the pistol. The magazines eject quite positively, as most European pistols do, and are very easy to load to full capacity. The big point that adds to the appeal this pistol has to the American shooter is the button magazine release like on the PPQ M2. The button is easy to push, but is also well protected from unintentional ejection of the magazine. That said, this pistol is very easy to do a speed reload with.
The CCP has a slightly long trigger pull. The striker is fully cocked and breaks very clean with little to no wall. At first the trigger pull can feel very gritty when you first get it, but will smooth out quite nicely if you shoot the pistol or dry fire it. There is no need to unnaturally wear the metal with polishing or grinding. A drop of lube in a few strategic locations can make a huge difference in the feel as well. It only took about 500 rounds for the trigger to smooth out, accompanied by a lot of dry fire practice. That being said, you will find that the trigger gets better as you shoot more.
The reset on the trigger is all the way out and really is perfect for shooting fast. Slow fire isn’t actually very bad at all. A lot of people bashed the trigger since the PPQ trigger really is the standard by which other Walther triggers are judged now. Don’t overthink the weight and travel of this pistols trigger. The difference between this trigger and others under rapid firing conditions is marginal at best. You naturally will be going out way further than you think while shooting fast. After my experience with many different triggers, I find it to work very well.
When we talk about the light but long trigger pull, we can’t help but to think about the safety. It is very well positioned, similar to the position of a 1911 safety. I find that it is also good for resting your thumb on as you shoot. The only advice I have is that you use this safety and train with it. It is very positive and very well positioned, so it would be not be very difficult to incorporate into your draw training. It is well rounded to prevent snagging, but wide enough to be actuated with confidence. There is no reason to not use it since it is very well placed and it doesn’t hurt to have that added security when hurrying to draw and fire from close quarters with such a light and smooth trigger pull.
The sights are a sore spot for many shooters, and I understand why. It is customary to use the dots on the sights to quickly acquire your sights while maintaining a majority of your focus on the target in close quarters. The dots on this pistol are not only small, but they are also recessed in the sights themselves. I tend to not really have an issue using the sights as they are, though I don’t quite notice the white dots. The sights seem to be a very solid polymer, similar to the polymer used in the frame. The problem though is that it is not quite that simple to adjust the windage on the rear sight. The sights seem to be hitting to point of aim out of the box at almost all ranges.
Now onto the action that makes this pistol such a hit. This really was the largest reason for the development of the pistol. The action on a blowback pistol is known to generally be easier to rack and manipulate. Walther designed this pistol to be easy to manipulate, even for people with compromised upper body strength. It is a constant complaint for women and older people that they can’t rack the slide on a semi auto pistol, and end up using a revolver with more recoil. Even if you do not have upper body strength issues, this is just a bonus that other pistols of similar size have yet to beat.
This pistol uses a gas pistol which uses the high pressures of the 9mm parabellum to delay the cycling of the action, in turn, reducing the recoil of the pistol. I have found that with this system, the high pressure loads seem to recoil less. Though some target loads, being lower pressure, can have more recoil. This is because the system relies on the gas pressure to delay the cycling of the action. This basically means that the longer the delay, i.e. the higher the pressure, the lower the recoil. The piston is a 3 stage pistol and is housed inside a cylinder right under the barrel. I would recommend that you allow the pistol and cylinder to foul up a while in order to allow for a more efficient and tighter seal of the gasses in the cylinder when firing. This can help reduce recoil even further from my experience. Now while we are on the subject of fouling, this pistol gets quite dirty, given that it is a blowback design. The other factor to the fouling would be the fact that some of the gasses from the cylinder are being blown back into the barrel and action while the pistol cycles. This doesn’t seem to affect the reliability of the pistol, even after hundreds of rounds. I recommend running a box of NATO or high pressure ammo at the end of your range session to clear up a little bit of the buildup.
On an interesting note, if you use a light to peer down the gas cylinder, you will notice two holes in the cylinder. One hole leads to the bore, and the other directly across from it, is the initial hole used to drill the drain hole to the bore. The barrel and the cylinder were made from a single piece of steel, so it would be hard to get away with not drilling through the bottom of the cylinder to reach the bore. This hole in the bottom is plugged though, so don’t worry about that. I just figured that this was worthy of note when looking at the making of the pistol.
The barrel on this pistol is fixed to the frame with a very tight set of roll/clamp pins. The bore is polygonal and very well machined. You will notice that the hole leading to the cylinder is merely a millimeter past the chamber. The barrel and the cylinder don’t take that long to heat up, but in reality, the likelihood of you unloading rounds at a high rate in a firefight and reloading five times is a bit unrealistic and ridiculous. It actually takes a bit of time for the pistol to heat up to an uncomfortable level so don’t worry about that.
The disassembly of this pistol is another sore spot for a lot of people. I have found it to be quite simple and easy. it does not actually require the included “key”, but will also work with a punch or even a house key from my experience. It is so simple, yet people complain about it unnecessarily. All you have to do is push up on the stainless steel sheet holding the striker spring backing on.
Push in 1/4″ and lift the slide up. For reassembly, I just push the striker backing plate in with my finger and it snaps into place. I see no problem with this takedown. It seems that people make a huge deal over this incredibly easy process that even a one handed guy can accomplish with few issues.
I have had only two problems with the pistol since I got it. The first thing was that the mag release spring, similar to the Glock spring was bent, causing the magazine to fall out during firing. The other thing was that I had the trigger spring on the other one go out after I had purchased it used. Both times, Walther fixed the issue with a turnaround time of less than 5 days at no cost to me. They were nice, knowledgeable and extremely courteous. They stand behind their products 100% and that is a very big deal for me when deciding whether a gun is worth the investment. These breakages should not be a factor in your judgment of the pistol, since this happens on all pistols. Instead focus on the fact that Walther wasted no time fixing the problem and getting this pistol back in my holster.
Overall, between the ease of use, the grip, the low recoil of carry loads, and the pistol being easy to shoot well, I see this pistol as probably the best carry option for the money. Don’t discount it just because it isn’t a subcompact PPQ. This is a carry pistol that was designed to be carried and operated with ease and it does just that. Its overall simplicity, light weight, low price, and all the above features on this pistol make it my first pick when I need a gun on my hip.